I found Samuel when I added “Saltney” to the search field on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, and his mother’s name, – Alice Reynolds from Saltney, came up. I do not think he is on any memorial and he must be remembered.
Samuel Reynolds was born on the 28th October 1910, (according to the British Armed Forces And Overseas Deaths And Burials ), the son of Peter & Alice Reynolds (nee Groom), who had married in a Civil Marriage or Registrar Attended marriage on Chester in 1904. (Cheshire West ROC/47/88).
I know from the 1911 census that Peter & Alice had 4 children and had been married 7 years, when the census was taken, but unfortunately Peter was missing. They were living at 28 Princess Street, Saltney, Nr. Chester, in 4 rooms. Alice Reynolds, fills in the census, i’s the first time that householder were to do it. However, Peter Reynolds, as the head of the household is missing, and Alice describes herself as “Wife,” age 37 and born in St. Mary, Chester. She tells us that 4 children had been born to her and they were still living. Her children, Annie, 6, Doris, 4, Martha, 2 and Samuel, 5 months had all been born in Saltney, Flintshire.
I believe that Peter Reynolds died in the December quarter of 1918, age 54 years. The next time we see Alice and her family is on the 1939 National Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939 when they were living at 167 High Street, Stonebridge, Chester, Hawarden R.D., Flintshire, and this source tells us the dates of birth for each resident as well as their occupation. Alice Reynolds was born on the 9th July 1876 and as most women who were who did not have a job, was described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.” Her daughter Annie Reynolds had been born on the 20th October 1904, and an Horticultural Worker. Samuel Reynolds was born on the 28th October 1910, and a Brickworker. Peter Reynolds was born on the 26th April 1915, and a Engineering Fitter & Tool Press Machinist. John Reynolds, has been born on the 20th October 1917 and was a Aero Engine Machinist. They were all single. There were 2 closed* records, but I don’t know who they were.
* The National Register tells us: – ”For individual people, records remain closed for a century after their birth (the 100-year rule), unless it can be proven that they passed away before this milestone.”
From the Chester Chronicle of the 23rd May 1942, we find that Samuel joined the Royal Navy in 1941, just over a year before he died. Samuel was born in Saltney and educated at Mold Junction School and was employed over 12 years at the Premier Artificial Stone Works, then later the Reliance Works. His hobbies while he was ashore were Racing, Swimming Pigeon Racing and Gardening. His mother Alice appealed for any of his shipmates with any knowledge of Samuel to contact her.
Samuel was to find himself on H.M.S. Trinidad and the following websites will help tell the story of what happened on the 14th May 1942.
Allied Warships – HMS Trinidad (46)
Light cruiser of the Fiji class
HMS Trinidad (Capt. Leslie Swain Saunders, RN) was hit by one of her own torpedoes on 29 March 1942, while in battle with the German destroyer Z 26, heavily damaging the German ship. She received temporary repairs in Murmansk, Russia and sailed for the USA, via Iceland, for full repairs on 13 May 1942. She was scuttled in the Arctic Ocean north of North Cape in position 73°35’N, 22°53’E after being hit by German Ju-88 bombers on 15 May 1942.
14 May 1942. – Around 0730 hours, HMS Trinidad, was spotted by enemy aircraft. She was shadowed from then on and Soviet air support, that had been promised failed to show up. At 2200 hours she was attacked by JU 88’s dive bombers. After about 25 attacks the force did not sustain serious damage although many ships had been near-missed. About ten torpedo aircraft then attacked at 2237 hours. Then at 2245 hours a lone Ju 88 attacked from the clouds and released a bomb from the height of 400 feet which hit HMS Trinidad right in the area where her previous damage had been starting a serious fire. She was able to avoid the torpedoes that had been fired at her by the torpedo bombers. Trinidad soon took on a 14 degree list to starboard but was still able to make 20 knots.
Shortly before midnight HMS Inglefield and HMS Escapade were detached by the cruiser cover force and set course to proceed to the Kola Inlet to reinforce the escort of the upcoming convoy QP 12.
15 May 1942. In the early morning however the fire in HMS Trinidad got out of control. In the end the ship had to be abandoned and was scuttled at 0120 hours by three torpedoes from HMS Matchless in position 73°35’N, 22°53’E.
Please read the whole story of the HMS Trinidad on the above website. Many thanks to uboat.net.
Junkers Ju 88 – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Junkers Ju 88 is a German World War II Luftwaffe twin-engined multirole combat aircraft. Junkers Aircraft and Motor Works (JFM) designed the plane in the mid-1930s as a so-called Schnellbomber (“fast bomber”) that would be too fast for fighters of its era to intercept. It suffered from technical problems during its development and early operational periods but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Like a number of other Luftwaffe bombers, it served as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter and at the end of the war, as a flying bomb.
Despite a protracted development, it became one of the Luftwaffe’s most important aircraft. The assembly line ran constantly from 1936 to 1945 and more than 15,000 Ju 88s were built in dozens of variants, more than any other twin-engine German aircraft of the period. Throughout production the basic structure of the aircraft remained unchanged.
The Ship that torpedoed itself – Please read this wonderful website, where there are stories from the survivors of HMSM Trinidad.
HMS TRINIDAD – Colony-type Light Cruiser including Convoy Escort Movements
D e t a i l s o f W a r S e r v i c e – Click on link on the website for list of casualties.
Excerpt from the above website:-
HMS Trinidad was a Royal Navy Fiji-class light cruiser. She was lost while serving in the Arctic on convoy duty after being damaged escorting PQ 13 in 1942.
Trinidad was built by HM Dockyard Devonport. She was laid down on 21 April 1938, launched 21 March 1941 and commissioned on 14 October 1941. The ship served with the British Home Fleet during her brief career.
While escorting Convoy PQ 13 in March 1942, she and other escorts were in combat with German Narvik-class destroyers. She hit and damaged the German destroyer Z26 and then launched a torpedo attack. One of her torpedoes had a fault, possibly affected by the icy waters and sub zero conditions common in the Atlantic en route to Russia; causing the torpedo to limp across the water at a speed far below the 46 knots expected, the reduced speed causing the torpedo to strike Trinidad as she performed evasive zigzags in its path, killing 32 men. Survivors included Lieutenant Commander Williams as well as composer George Lloyd, a Royal Marines bandsman who had earlier written the ship’s official march. This was performed at the Last Night of the Proms on 7 September 2013, in the presence of the last surviving crewman from Trinidad.
Trinidad was towed clear of the action, and was then able to proceed under her own power towards Murmansk. The German submarine U-378 attempted to engage and sink the damaged cruiser, but was spotted and attacked by the destroyer Fury. On arrival in Murmansk, Trinidad underwent partial repairs.
Trinidad under repair in the Kola Inlet at Murmansk – By Vice Admiral Sir David Loram – This is photograph HU 43945 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums (collection no. 8211-48), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2983614
She set out to return home on 13 May 1942, escorted by the destroyers Foresight, Forester, Somali and Matchless. Other ships of the Home Fleet were providing a covering force nearby. Her speed was reduced to 20 knots (37 km/h) owing to the damage she had sustained. En route, she was attacked by more than twenty Ju 88 bombers on 14 May 1942. All attacks missed, except for one bomb that struck near the previous damage, starting a serious fire. Sixty-three men were lost, including twenty survivors from the cruiser Edinburgh, which had been sunk two weeks earlier. The decision was taken to scuttle her and on 15 May 1942 she was torpedoed by Matchless and sank in the Arctic Ocean, north of North Cape. Four Czechoslovak airmen en route to Great Britain – Sergeant Vratislav Laštovička, Corporals Jan Ferák, Josef Návesník and Bohuslav Zikmund – were killed, and three other airmen were rescued.
HMS Trinidad (46) – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. – Trinidad as seen from HMS Fury in the North Atlantic during an Arctic convoy escort patrol. Trinidad is dazzle-painted.
By Ware, C J (Lt), Royal Navy official photographer – This is photograph A 8087 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums (collection no. 4700-01), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2983600
Samuel must have been loved and missed by his family especially his mother Alice, I believe that she die in the June quarter of 1950, Samuel must be remembered for his sacrifice.